ATENEO held off Adamson in a thrilling five-setter, 22-25, 25-23, 25-18, 23-25, 15-11, for its sixth straight win in the 75th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at the Arena in San Juan on Sunday.
The Lady Falcons fought their way back from a 1-2 deficit and an 18-21 score in the fourth to stretch the Lady Eagles to a deciding set.
But Ateneo found an instant hero in Alyssa Valdez, who took charge in the fifth and final set by coming through with four straight points, including three straight service aces to give Ateneo a 9-7 lead it never relinquished.
“Basta bahala na basta nanalo para matauhan sila” said Ateneo coach Roger Gorayeb, who didn’t hide his disappointment over the way his team allowed the Lady Falcons to rally back.
“Actually yung first set namin 13 or 14 points ng kalaban error namin sa service. Samantalang talagang mga practice namin puro service lang, tapos pagdating dito nahirapan kami,” said Gorayen about the team’s 12 service errors.
Valdez tied her own career high of 30 points, including 23 hits and four service aces. She also finished with 30 points in last year’s second round elimination against National University.
Fille Cainglet and Dzi gervacio chipped in 15 and 12 points, respectively for the Blue Eagles, who remained perfect for the season.
“Always team effort naman,” said Gorayeb of the Lady Eagles’ latest win.
Pau Soriano came away with 21 points, on 18 attacks and three blocks for Adamson, which remained in third with a 3-2 (win-loss) record.
Meanwhile, defending champion De La Salle took only 58 minutes to dispose of University of the Philippines, 25-15, 25-8, 25-8 in the first match.
It was a total team effort for the Lady Archers, who were led by Michelle Gumabao and Victorana Galang, who finished with eight points apiece.
“Lahat ng nangyari noong last year, nakalimutan na siguro so mataas ang adrenalin ng team. Kung ano man mga naiwan doon sa isip (nila), nabura na, tapos panibagong taon para mag-umpisa ulit kung ano ang dapat paghandaan,” said DLSU coach Ramil de Jesus, who said that his team trained during the holidays except for a two-day break in Christmas and New Year.
Jay Aliyah Ong led five other Lady Maroons with four hits.
La Salle currently holds a 5-1 win-loss record for second place, while UP absorbed its fifth straight loss in six games.